As many Yugioh players open cases of the new Raging Tempest set to build the new tier 0 Zoodiac deck, there is a small group who fears that the same thing will happen as last year with the PePe (Performage/Performapal) deck. Konami in order to prevent a tier 0 format released an adjusted banlist that forbid/limited the key cards in the deck roughly two weeks after the release of Breakers of Shadow. Thus, players who invested in the deck lost a large amount of money and faith in the game was momentarily challenged. I for one, do not see this happening again and would like to briefly explain why.
PePe was a Mistake Caused by Unfair Card Interactions
One of the key aspects of PePe was the interaction between Performage Plushfire and the destruction enablers Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer/Peformapal Pendulum Sorcerer. Destroying Plushfire for value allowed the player who used them to go a large amount of card advantage from only 2 cards. In addition Performage Trick Clown and Damage Juggler both fed into this strategy by offering further card advantage through repeated xyz-summoning. You might be asking now “isn’t this just a worse version of Zoodiac?” You might also be asking “isn’t Ratpier much worse since it’s a 1 card combo as opposed to a 2-card combo?” Well therein lies a key difference between the 2 decks. The pay off of the PePe deck was infinitely better than that of Zoodiac (at the time of its release). Pepe made an end board of Cyber Dragon Infinity (and in the OCG Number 16: Shock Master). Despite all of its strength Zoodiac Drident is not as powerful as Cyber Dragon Infinity as negating an effect can likely prevent a player from boardwiping (Dark Hole) which is the easiest way to punish spamming the board.
You now be asking why I started this by saying that PePe was a mistake. Well I posit that almost none of these cards were intended to work with each other. Performages and Performapals despite their similar naming convention only interact with the card Bubble Barrier, otherwise both are separate archetypes. Luster Pendulum, a vanilla enabler for pendulums while being generic pendulum support was just too strong as a searchable source of card advantage (Draco-Faceoff). The biggest offender in the PePe deck however, was Tellarknight Ptolemaeus. This “reasonlessly” generic xyz card gave allowed PePe to summon Cyber Dragon Infinity. This made light of its intended purpose (making Constellar Knight Diamond) and gave rank 4 spam decks the access to a powerful rank 6 monster that they had no business summoning. While it may seem highly presumptuous, I would like to believe Konami R&D doesn’t want unfair card interactions to exist. The banlist, while mostly a method to promote the newer cards does also make up for mistakes like PePe.
Zoodiac (despite all of its absurdity) seems to be working just as Konami intended it too
We can discern that Konami intended Zoodiac to work as it does now from the articles on the deck written on the Konami blog. The 1-card xyz summons (while in my humble opinion and hopefully many others’) are a slap in the face to xyz summoning, which was already the most mind numbing-ly simple summoning mechanic. That being said Konami from the passionate way in which they describe Zoodiac wanted it to be like this.
Another advantage for Zoodiac is that the archetype barely abuses older Yugioh cards. Many of the tier 0 decks from years past all acted in a way that Konami likely did not anticipate or desire. PePe (as aforementioned) broke Tellarknight Ptolemaeus, which had been released for a few months before BOSH seeing little play outside of Satellarknights. Dragon Rulers broke the card Super Rejuvenation (letting them draw a billion cards) and similarly Nekroz abused the card Djinn Releaser of Rituals (to prevent their opponent from playing). All of these decks were unfair not only for being too consistent, but by also by gaining too much advantage from older cards. In the case of Zoodiac, the only “old” cards that they seem to have broken are Speedroid Terrortop and M-X-Saber Invoker.
And that’s all I have to say on the topic. I for one won’t be investing the $300+ that Zoodiac will cost to build. Instead I’ll be following my own advice and main-decking Raigeki, double Dark Hole and triple Interuppted Kaiju Slumber in any Yugioh deck I play from now until Zoodiac is like all Yugioh decks is inevitably power-crept. Also as a parting thought I want you to imagine for a moment what the deck that powercreeps Zoodiac will look like…
Thanks for reading as usual.